ON THE FENCE
To Stay or
You've received a job offer for more money from another company but want to stay where you are.
This is a tricky one my friend no doubt about it!
Let's decide your best strategy
PLAN B: BATNA
Think outside the box, and be creative with other potential "asks" in the negotiation.
A Quick Note about Negotiation
Breaking down the elements to any negotiation is never simple, and one of the biggest mistakes any negotiator can do is to oversimplify.
My goal is to help you navigate your salary negotiation armed with the most information and highest level of confidence.
If you are new to negotiation in general, I encourage you to learn more here:
As someone who has studied negotiation academically and who has had both successful and not-so-successful negotiations, I have created this checklist to help you learn from my mistakes!
Make sure you read through the entire checklist
before taking action as the steps are all interrelated.
Checklist item #1
Checklist item #1
While studying Negotiation at Columbia University, my first class was
“Negotiation 101: An Introduction to the World of Negotiation.”
One of the most important lessons I learned in this class was on how to start, and much like taking off on a race, beginning well is everything.
Success is in the details and starts with questions such as;
How does it start?
Where does it take place?
Who are the people involved?
In short, winners start well, so let's get you off on the right foot.
For you, being on the fence makes this stage even more nerve-wracking than normal. It also means it's the most important stage.
Since you will be approaching your boss about this sudden change,
it's up to you to set the stage for this negotiation.
I've done the work for you in making sure your agenda is set for success, so you can be off on your race. It's important to make it happen for yourself.
The first item on your checklist is sending an email setting up a meeting for the negotiation.
Here are some email templates for you to used to make it a little easier!
If you are waiting for your employer to ask you into a negotiation,
it is not going to happen.
Before you request a negotiation, make sure you have already, or will have enough time to complete the rest of this checklist!
Once, you set the date, it's time to set the agenda — this is mostly for you to orient yourself and stay on track during the negotiation. Here is a sample template for how this should look. Note; this template should be one of the last things you fill out because you will need to complete the other checklist items first.
Checklist item #2
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
The best way to know what you’re asking for and why is to research, research, research and luckily for us we have this information at our fingertips!
You should never go into a negotiation blind! No, not Bird Box style, money style. By this I mean you should know exactly what salary number you want to walk out of the room making, and why. Throwing out a random number is not a good strategy.
To do this, you will need to find out not just how much your job is worth on the market, but also how much your time is worth consummate with your skills, achievements, education, and so on.
For this step you will need:
Your most recent pay stub (both annually and monthly)
A phone or computer with internet access.
Your budget. (Don’t have a budget? Visit the resources guide for some ideas to get you started)
A list of things you have done for your organization.
This list can be things such as;
I brought in 10 new clients in 6 months.
I launched a new marketing strategy that grew sales by 30%.
I sold more than $60,000 worth of product.
Notice that these examples are specific and have numbers attached to them: they show exactly how much the work you do adds to the company. While these are critical negotiating points for you, remember to also add other non-numerical things to your list such as:
I am consistently on time.
I constantly speak up and volunteer for work-related (or non-work related) projects.
I have never had a negative client complaint or employee review.
I presented or attended a conference or meeting and positively represented the organization well.
You will also want to make a list of reasons WHY you WANT to stay with the company, this doesn't have to be shared in the negotiation, but it's good to think about! These can also help you frame your negotiation:
You enjoy the positive work environment
This role makes you feel accomplished at the end of the day
And so on. Notice that these reasons are all about you, not because your work buddy wants you to stay or because you think you have a shot with the cute manager on another floor, or you feel like you owe it to the company and or your boss to stay. Deciding to stay or go in this position should depend on you.
After you have compiled this list, head to Glassdoor, The Salary PayScale or the Salary Project to look up what other people with your new title are making.
(Feel like creating some good karma? Help others out by listing what you were making in your last position, pre-promotion)
Be sure to look not just at your organization, but in general what your position and skills are worth. You can also look at LinkedIn to search your position title to connect with others.
*You do not have to agree to a specific amount in the negotiation. It is common to just want to agree on a number, but once you do you can not go back. It's better to ask if you can think about it for a day, than agree to a bad deal.
Once your research is complete it's time to decide your strategy.
MONEY GUIDE DOWNLOAD HERE
Checklist item #2
Checklist item #3
FIND YOUR BATNA
Checklist item #3
Nope, that's not a typo or a baseball reference.
Your BATNA is your
Best AlternaTive to a Negotiated Agreement
Think of it as your backup, your other options. This is arguably the most important part of your negotiation because it's going to give you more power. Much like in the game of Baseball, players have options, in the form of bases.
A player can, of course, stay where they are, or they can try to run for that next base. You want to have as many bases to run to in a negotiation (metaphorically speaking of course).
You are, from a negotiation standpoint, in the best position, because you already have two bases (if we are sticking with the baseball analogy) to choose from. So your ability to "walk away from the table", or "off the field" just grew enormously! You should be much more relaxed and confident therefore in asking for what you want.
It is critical that you ask yourself
"why do I want to stay with this company?"
If you are only negotiating because you want to see how much you could get, that's fine but recognize that if they are unable or unwilling to negotiate then picking up and moving may be your best option.
If it's something more personal, that's fine too but make sure to get as much as you can in the negotiation without giving away these reasons in the negotiation. You want your organization to fight to keep you!
This is why researching your skills other options is so important. It gives you more information about what is out there if there are other positions that you can apply for if the negotiation does not go the way you want.
Also, know that your BANTA may not just be money. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a negotiation is having nothing other than money to ask for. I learned this the hard way in a negotiation when my boss asked,
"Is there anything else I can give you?"
Without research or thinking about this question prior I had nothing to say, no bases to run to. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE! The answer is "YES"
Your next checklist item will ask you the same question. This guide will help you think of new bases and asks in your negotiation, don't be afraid to get creative, and swing to hit these asks out of the Park.
Use this guide to brainstorm some alternative asks besides money!
BATNA GUIDE DOWNLOAD HERE
Checklist item #4
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
As with all things in life, the more we do something the better we become. Which is why this step is so vital to your success! Practicing negotiations is very difficult because it's nearly impossible to recreate the specific type of negotiation you will be having. However, you can practice the art of negotiation and learn to adapt. I designed this blog around the idea that the best way to prepare for something is to do it!
For this phase, channel your inner Marie Kondo, and DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
In this section, there are two practice negotiations, if you have time I recommend trying out each of them! Otherwise, select the one that you find most interesting (don't worry you'll be able to practice your own negotiation later) this stage is just to get you out of your own head for a bit and practice!
It is critical that you do not cheat by reading the other sides paper and stick with the one that says "Employee". You will need to find someone to practice with you! This can be a close friend, significant other, parent, sibling etc.
As long as you think this person will take this seriously, go for it! If you have an Aunt or Mother who is a lawyer. If you have a Brother or Cousin who is an actor I recommend asking them to help you roleplay with one of the scenarios since they will be more accustomed to a real roleplay scenario.
If the idea of calling up one of these people is too daunting, I am available for 1 hour long consults, Click on this link to contact me for a session!
Each section has an instructional page for you and your
partner to read before you begin!
Good luck and have fun!
Role Play # 1:
Role play # 2:
Checklist item #4
Checklist item #5
TURNING THE TABLE
Now that you have some experience negotiating, it's time to focus on your specific salary negotiation! Except, instead of practicing for yourself, you will be playing the role of your boss or the person negotiating with you. Scary right?
When I was in High School I did Public Forum Debate, in which the debate was determined by a coin toss who would be arguing which side. This meant that my debate partner and I had to be ready to argue in favor or against the topic. Doing this meant that we had a great understanding of the issue we were discussing.
This tactic might seem unnecessary but it's not, knowing what arguments your opponent might say, gives you an advantage when it comes to making your case. In this section, you will be thinking about all the things your boss might "hold against you." or "bring up as a reason not to give you a raise." Whatever you're thinking is exactly what your boss may bring up.
Remember way back when in checklist item #2 Show Me The Money when you listed out your accomplishments? Now you have to do the opposite. Be honest with yourself what are some things your boss might say are reasons for not giving you a huge salary bump? Do you sometimes turn in projects late? Are you late to work? Did you lose a client? Etc.
Additionally, your boss may blame things that are beyond your control. IE: the economy, a company rule, etc. In this template write out these reasons and think of what your response would be, then practice your own negotiation with a partner. Using these templates to fill out the information.
For these answers, avoid using excuses and try to focus on accepting that you are human and you make mistakes but you are working on correcting your past mistakes. Listing specific things you're doing such as reading or listening to a specific podcast show that you are putting effort into making yourself better!
Then using this template fill out your boss or the person you will be negotiating with find a practice partner and start!
TURNING THE TABLES TEMPLATE
Checklist item #5
Checklist item #6
CROSSING THE FINISH LINE
Checklist item #6
So you have researched everything you can about your ideal salary, you have your BATNA, and you've practiced your heart out! But what happens after the negotiation?
IF IT'S ALL YES!
Ideally, your negotiation will be nothing but a whole bunch of YES! You will get your ideal salary and all your BATNA's! If this happens, congrats! You hit the negotiation jackpot!
IF IT'S ALL NO'S
Unfortunately, the world is an imperfect place, and your boss may give you nothing but NO, and make you feel like all this hard work was for nothing. In that case, ask if you can re-negotiate in 2 - 6 months, if this is still a no -go then get ready to re-think your options and start looking at your BATNA's!
IF IT'S A MIX
This is the most likely scenario, you will win some and lose some, you may get your ideal salary and some of your BATNA's but not all, or you may get less money than you wanted, but got all your BATNA's!
In each situation don't be afraid to ask questions and remember that getting a NO is just the start of the negotiation.
No matter what happens, tell yourself how proud you are for doing all this hard work and for being brave enough to negotiate!
Checklist item #7
Checklist item #7
As your final checklist item, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for your big day! You've practiced, researched, and prepared as best as you can!
You know the drill;
Like with any big test or event in your life, be sure to;
Get a good night's sleep.
Eat a big breakfast.
Give yourself some mantra's to repeat when you start to get nervous.
- Wear your favorite power outfit etc.
While there is no magic solution to making you more confident overnight, there are some psychological tips you can use to go the extra mile visit the Negotiator Resources page to find out how!
Want to learn more negotiation strategies or how to address things like Gender or Emotions in a Negotiation? Check out my Blog Posts!
Check out my Spotify Playlists and Podcasts to get you pumped before your negotiation!